Tag Archives: life

Throwback Thursday: Battling Depression

BATTLING DEPRESSION

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Ps. 9:9 NKJV

I thought I had won the war on depression. It had been kicked to the curb a long time ago, but there I was, falling into a deep, dark pit with nothing to grab onto along the way.

My triggers can be hormones or the side effects of certain medications. Throw in a mix of loneliness, discouragement, and great disappointment and you have a recipe for despondency. I felt like such a burden to some, and a doormat to others. Satan began whispering, “They will never miss you.”

What? How was this happening so quickly? I am stronger than this! God has great plans for me. Was I too ashamed to turn to Scripture? Too filled with despair to turn on uplifting gospel music? It was time for this prayer warrior to go into the battle on my knees.

Psalm 9:9 tells us that God is a refuge for the oppressed. For many days, I prayed through the entire Psalm. It speaks about putting our trust in Him. That was my mistake. I trusted in myself when the enemy attacked or depression snuck in. God is my refuge in times of trouble. “Times of trouble” – for God knows there will be multiple seasons when we need to seek refuge in Him.

Friend, are you taking on heavy artillery from the enemy? Are you settling into the black sea of depression? Maybe a little of both? God is your refuge. God didn’t intend for us to fight these battles alone. The battle is His, and we must give it to Him. His Hebrew name is “Elohim Machase”, “God our Refuge”. Life happens and it is not kind, but we have a loving Father who gives us strength. He wants to comfort us. Run to Him! God is the refuge for life’s refugees.

Father,

Forgive me for even considering that I can handle things myself. I need You as my refuge, my shield, and my strength. Hedge me from Satan. Free me from conditions like depression. Thank You for always being there even when no one else is. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Psalm 9 and pray through it.

HIKING THE TRAIL

If you suffer with depression, please see a medical doctor. It is a very real medical condition and there are medications which can help. Like anything else, Satan often uses these situations to triumph over us, but God has the victory. The only way to fight spiritual warfare is through prayer.

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Tamper Resistent Joy

Tamper Resistant Joy

By Carolyn Dale Newell

…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b NKJV

Imprisoned and chained to a guard, Paul wrote several of his epistles, including the “joy epistle” of Philippians. How could Paul rejoice when he could no longer plant churches and preach the gospel as he did on his missionary journeys?

Paul believed God’s promise in our focal verse: the joy of the Lord is our strength. Paul lived Christ

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 NKJV)

In the original Greek text, the verb “is” is absent. So, Paul lived Christ. Paul’s enemies had meant this for evil, but God had meant it for good. Paul recognized that, and he rejoiced.

The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our joy. Nothing would please him better than to see grimacing Christians. He has no authority over God’s children. When Satan cannot deceive us into temptation, one of his plots involves zapping our joy. Sadly, we allow him.

That’s right. We fall for his trickery, and the devil knows better than most Christians that the joy of the Lord is our strength. He steals our joy and leaves us weak.

But we are not without hope. We can turn our faces toward the Son and away from our circumstances. Away from the depression, the loneliness, the pain, anxieties, the season we find ourselves in. We don’t find joy in those situations, but when we face Jesus, we see joy, for Jesus is joy.

We live in a topsy-turvy world, and sometimes life must get more confusing to get us right side up. We allow circumstances to dictate our emotional thermometers rather than trusting our sovereign Lord. Sweet friend, we are measuring the wrong thing (topsy-turvy). God allows things, painful things, into our lives to turn us right side up.

We can get our joy back when we live Christ as Paul did. When we commit to praise God no matter what, we will find strength through joy. When we can look at our messy lives and know Jesus loves us. When we look through joy colored glasses, we are made strong.

Christmas can either be depressing or joyful. In order to have a tamper-resistant joyful Christmas, look to the Baby in the manger. He is now our King and has been granted authority over all things. Joy doesn’t erase the hurt, but It delivers strength to cope with it. Joy isn’t found in friends, family, or feasting. Not genuine joy. That joy exists only in Jesus.

Heavenly Father, help us turn our faces toward Jesus this season. Easier said than done, but with You all things are possible. Thank You for the joy You will bring many who would be sad and alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 1: 12-26.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is one attitude you can adopt this Christmas season to see joy amidst your situation? How can you help someone else who struggles at this time of the year?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.